These candle holders from Scandi brand Ferm Living were supposedly inspired by “…the scene in the film Lady & The Tramp where the tramp treats Lady to a candlelit meal, and the candle is stuck into a bottle.” Hmmn, I’m not sure the filmmakers were the first people to come up wtih that idea – hands up who hasn’t stuck a candle in an old wine bottle at least once when they were a student/broke/working in a ‘rustic’ restaurant? Anyway, inspiration aside, they come in three different heights and eight colours and look way classier than the real thing. From £17.95 each (from cloudberryliving.co.uk), they’re not cheap, but they do look brilliant grouped together. Put them on your Christmas list now!
Doormats. Not the most glamorous of things, but they’re useful. However, most of them are either deadly boring, or made of that coir/coconut husk material that moults all over your hallway. So, I’m swapping mine for one of these brilliant rubber peacock door mats from http://www.berryred.co.uk which come in purple, orange or hot pink. Okay, so it’s £38.50, but unless you’re agoraphobic, you’ll use it at least twice a day and it won’t moult anywhere. Besides, I reckon it’s worth it to have something a little bit quirkier than the usual ‘Welcome’ print.
These new Peppersmith mints have such a stylish pastel green packet I couldn’t resist them. There’s a chewing gum version too, they’re approved by the British Dental Health Association, and at around £1 a pop, they’re not much more expensive than ‘ordinary’ chewing gum or mints (I got charged 80p for some Orbit the other day – shocking!). Available in health food shops, Selfridges and http://www.peppersmith.co.uk.
More and more people are coming round to the idea that ordinary plastic bottles aren’t suitable for refilling time and time again, because chemicals from the plastic may leak into the water, particularly when bottles get hot in sunlight. Now, I don’t know if that’s true, but anything that gives me an excuse to buy one of these AWESOME reusable Lego drinking bottles is alright with me!
They’re £10.99 from www.firebox.com, available to buy from 18th May (or you can pre-order them right now). They’re dishwasher safe, and at 25cm high and 7cm wide, they fit a decent amount of liquid in. I’m ordering one for my desk at work right now!
I went to Grand Designs Live at London’s Excel London last week and fell in love with a Fatboy (that’s a huge garden beanbag, for sitting, lying or collapsing on, in case you were wondering).
Only thing is, they cost £159, which is just a bit too much in my book to pay for something I’ll patently only use about four times a year.
So, I’ve lowered my sights to these great copycat outdoor beanbags, new from Sainsburys (www.sainsburys.couk), available in red, turquoise and lime. At £49.99 each, they cost less than most deckchairs, and are probably a damn sight comfier.
I love this tray – the thing I like most about it is the fact that it apologises for itself! It’s just £7.99 by Waldo Pancake for http://www.gettingpersonal.co.uk. They do various other bits and bogs in the same range, including this sunshine yellow shopper bag, £12.99. The two together would make a great gift for anyone with a slightly (okay, very) cheesy sense of humour.
Coffee is old news – tea has been quietly making a comeback for a while now, which gives me the perfect excuse to splash out on one of these fun teapots from John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com).
At £15 each, they’d make a brilliant brithday or cheering-up present for a special friend – especially if you make it a ‘tea for two’ gift by wrapping one up with a pair of brightly-coloured mugs and a big packet of PG Tips.
The temperature this weekend is predicted to be in the 80s – and that, in my book, is officially ice cream weather. I’m craving a big ol’ ice cream sundae with several kinds of ice cream, bananas, cherries, plus loads of old school chocolate sauce (hands up if you can remember Ice Magic? It’s now called Monster Crackin’ Chocolate Topping, and it’s £1.25 from Tescos).
I’m going to put the whole lot in one of these gorgeous bright sundae glasses (£15 for four from John Lewis, http://www.johnlewis.com) and eat it with a long-handled spoon (Cecelia spoons, £4 for five, Habitat http://www.habitat.co.uk) – perfect for getting at every last mouthful! Finally, because I’m a lady, I’m going to mop up any mishaps with Indian-style napkins, £3.29 for a pack of 20 from Lakeland, http://www.lakeland.co.uk.
Looking for a way to freshen up your dinner table without splashing out on a whole new set of crockery? Try the food stylist trick of investing in a set of patterned bowls or dinner plates to mix in amongst your plain white table settings. I can’t decide whether to go for all-out glamour with these gorgeous beautiful Kimono plates in teal, red or blue, £7.50 each from Maxwell & Williams (www.maxwellandwilliams.co.uk); or keep it classic with John Lewis’ Spot bowls (£31 for four) or plates (£25.50-36 for four, depending on plate size) at http://www.johnlewis.co.uk.
Funnily enough, since writing that squirrel post a couple of weeks ago, the bushy-tailed little fellas haven’t been in my garden much (although this could just be because I stopped putting food on the doomed bird table!). However, I have seen a fox, cheekily sunbathing on my shed roof. So, I’m going to embrace him too – not literally, as he’s probably got fleas – and champion foxy chic for the home. Check out this sweet Urban Fox mug, £12.50 from http://www.hunkydoryhome.co.uk – it’s quirky, unusual and should make anyone who lives in a city smile. Unless you’re my ex-neighbour Alan, who just wanted to shoot all foxes on sight…